Urbis Think Tank
Unlocking Greater Western Sydney
Managing Director of Urbis, John Wynne recently moderated a Property Council panel discussion focussed on how to ‘unlock’ the potential of Greater Western Sydney (GWS) in the decades ahead.
Wynne set the scene for the panel discussion by outlining how GWS represents one of the most important urban areas in Australia, underscored by the fact that the region:
- has the third largest economy in Australia (after Sydney & Melbourne) and holds 600,000 jobs.
- is the amongst the fastest growing regions in the nation and is home to one in ten of all Australians.
- is the location of 150 of the nation’s top 500 companies.
- contains some of the largest commercial centres in the country – Parramatta, Penrith, Liverpool, Blacktown and Norwest.
- has a current population of almost 2 million (being around 45% of Sydney’s total population) with a projection to double to 4 million by 2050.
- covers an enormous land-area of approximately 9000 sq km – equivalent to 13 Singapore’s
Should the region reach 4 million this would represent a population the current size of Melbourne and over three times the current size of Adelaide.
Against this backdrop of substantial growth, GWS has great challenges Wynne said:
“Infrastructure demands and costs are already enormous and the region has been chronically underfunded with the absence of extensive heavy rail being top of the list. Too many people need to commute east for jobs and services creating enormous pressures on transport networks and placing stress on the communities. Unless there is significant and widespread infrastructure investment and long term (and implementable plans) GWS is going to grow in a haphazard and chaotic manner.”
In the panel discussion that followed a reoccuring message that emerged was that getting growth ‘right’ in GWS was critical for the future prosperity of the entire metropolitan region, and for retaining the status one of the world’s most attractive and liveable cities.